|Height:||193 cm (6' 4'')|
|Birth Day:||September 25, 1952|
|Death Date:||Oct 10, 2004 (age 52)|
|Birth Place:||New York City, United States|
As per our current Database, Christopher Reeve died on Oct 10, 2004 (age 52).
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|193 cm (6' 4'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
He discovered his love for acting at age nine during his amateur role in the play The Yeomen of the Guard.
Reeve was born on September 25, 1952, in New York City, the son of Barbara Pitney Lamb, a journalist; and Franklin D'Olier Reeve (1928–2013), a teacher, novelist, poet, and scholar. Many of his family lines had been in America since the early 17th century, while other ancestors came from the French aristocracy. His paternal grandfather, Colonel Richard Henry Reeve, had been the CEO of Prudential Financial (when it was called Prudential Life Insurance Company) for over 25 years.
Reeve's father was a Princeton University graduate studying for a master's degree in Russian at Columbia University before Christopher's birth. Despite being born wealthy, Franklin Reeve spent summers working at the docks with longshoremen. Reeve's mother had been a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, but transferred to Barnard College to be closer to Franklin, whom she had met through a family connection. They had another son, Benjamin, born on October 6, 1953.
Franklin and Barbara divorced in 1956, and she moved with her two sons to Princeton, New Jersey, where they attended Nassau Street School. Later that year, Franklin Reeve married Helen Schmidinger, a Columbia University graduate student. Barbara Pitney Lamb married Tristam B. Johnson, a stockbroker, in 1959. Johnson enrolled Christopher and his brother, Benjamin, in Princeton Country Day School, which later merged with Miss Fine's School for Girls to become the co-educational Princeton Day School. Reeve excelled academically, athletically, and onstage; he was on the honor roll and played soccer, baseball, tennis, and hockey. The sportsmanship award at Princeton Day School's invitational hockey tournament was named in Reeve's honor.
In the 1990s, Reeve received scripts for Picket Fences and Chicago Hope and was asked by CBS if he wanted to start his own television series. This meant moving to Los Angeles, which would place him even further from his children, who lived in London. In Massachusetts, Reeve could take a Concorde and see them anytime. He declined the offers. Reeve did not mind making trips, however; he went to New Mexico to shoot Speechless, co-starring Michael Keaton. Reeve then went to Point Reyes to shoot John Carpenter's film Village of the Damned, a remake of a 1960 British movie of the same name. Both of these films with this title were based on the 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham.
Reeve found his passion for acting in 1962 at age nine when he was cast in an amateur version of the operetta The Yeomen of the Guard; it was the first of many student plays. In mid-1968, at age fifteen, Reeve was accepted as an apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The other apprentices were mostly college students, but Reeve's older appearance and maturity helped him fit in with the others. In a workshop, he played a scene from A View from the Bridge that was chosen to be presented in front of an audience. After the performance, actress Olympia Dukakis said to him, "I'm surprised. You've got a lot of talent. Don't mess it up." The next summer, Reeve was hired at the Harvard Summer Repertory Theater Company in Cambridge for $44 per week. He played a Russian sailor in The Hostage and Belyayev in A Month in the Country. Famed theater critic Elliot Norton called his performance as Belyayev "startlingly effective." The 23-year-old lead actress in the play turned out to be Reeve's first romance. Her engagement to a fellow Carnegie Mellon graduate ended when he made a surprise visit to her dorm room at seven in the morning and found Reeve with her. The relationship fizzled a few months later when the age difference became an issue.
After graduating from Princeton Day School in June 1970, Reeve acted in plays in Boothbay, Maine. He planned to go to New York City to find a career in theater. Ultimately, however, at the advice of his mother, he applied for college. He was accepted into Princeton University, Columbia University, Brown University, Cornell University, Northwestern University, and Carnegie Mellon University. Reeve said that he chose Cornell primarily because it was distanced from New York City and because of the temptations of working as an actor immediately versus finishing college, as he had promised his mother and step-father. Reeve joined the theater department in Cornell, and played Pozzo in Waiting for Godot, Segismundo in Life Is a Dream, Hamlet in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Polixenes in The Winter's Tale.
In 1973, approximately 2,000 students auditioned for 20 places in the freshman class at Juilliard. Reeve's audition was in front of 10 faculty members, including John Houseman, who had just won an Academy Award for The Paper Chase. Reeve and Robin Williams were the only students selected for Juilliard's Advanced Program. They had several classes together in which they were the only students. In their dialects class with Edith Skinner, Williams had no trouble mastering all dialects naturally, whereas Reeve was more meticulous about it. Williams and Reeve developed a close friendship.
In early 1974, Reeve and other Juilliard students toured the New York City junior high school system and performed The Love Cure. In one performance, Reeve, who played the hero, drew his sword out too high and accidentally destroyed a row of lights above him. The students applauded and cheered. Reeve later said that this was the greatest ovation of his career. After completing his first year at Juilliard, Reeve graduated from Cornell in the Class of '74 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
In late 1975, he auditioned for the Broadway play A Matter of Gravity. Katharine Hepburn watched his audition and cast him as her character's grandson in the play. With Hepburn's influence over the CBS network, Reeve worked out the schedules of the soap opera Love of Life and the play so that he would be able to do both. Because of his busy schedule, he ate candy bars and drank coffee in place of meals and hence suffered from exhaustion and malnutrition. On the first night of the play's run, Reeve entered the stage, said his first line, and then promptly fainted. Hepburn turned to the audience and said, "This boy's a goddamn fool. He doesn't eat enough red meat." The understudy finished the play for Reeve, and a doctor treated him. The doctor advised Reeve to eat a more healthy diet. He stayed with the play throughout its year-long run and was given very favorable reviews.
For most of his life, Reeve did not identify with any religion. He attended his stepfather's Presbyterian church as a young teenager. In 1975, he briefly explored Scientology but opted out of becoming a member. He subsequently voiced criticism of the organization.
Reeve and Hepburn became very close. She said, "You're going to be a big star, Christopher, and support me in my old age." He replied, "I can't wait that long." Some gossip columns rumored a romance between the two. Reeve said, "She was sixty-seven and I was twenty-two, but I thought that was quite an honor...I believe I was fairly close to what a child or grandchild might have been to her." Reeve said that his father, who was a professor of literature and came to many of the performances, was the man who most captivated Hepburn. When the play moved to Los Angeles in 1976, Reeve—to Hepburn's disappointment—dropped out. They stayed in touch for years after the play's run. Reeve later regretted not staying closer and just sending messages back and forth.
Reeve's first role in a Hollywood film was a very small part as a junior submarine officer in the 1978 naval disaster movie Gray Lady Down. He then acted in the play My Life at the Circle Repertory Company with friend William Hurt.
Reeve used his celebrity status for several philanthropic causes. Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he visited terminally ill children. He joined the Board of Directors for the worldwide charity Save the Children. In 1979, he served as a track and field coach at the Special Olympics alongside O. J. Simpson.
While filming the first two Superman movies in England, Reeve began a ten-year relationship with modeling executive Gae Exton. They had a son, Matthew Exton Reeve, on December 20, 1979, and a daughter, Alexandra Exton Reeve, in December 1983. Both were born in London, England. In February 1987, Reeve and Gae Exton separated amicably with joint custody of their children, and Reeve returned to New York. Matthew and Alexandra remained in London with their mother and often spent their holidays with Reeve.
Reeve's first role after 1978's Superman was in the 1980 time-travel mystery/romantic fantasy Somewhere in Time. Reeve as Richard Collier romanced actress Elise McKenna, a popular stage actress from the early 20th century, played by Jane Seymour. The film was shot on Mackinac Island using the Grand Hotel in mid-1979, and was Reeve's favorite film ever to shoot.
After the film was completed, the plan was for a limited release and to build word of mouth, but early test screenings were favorable and the studio decided on a wide release, which ultimately proved to be the wrong strategy. Early reviews savaged the film as overly sentimental and melodramatic, and an actors' strike prevented Reeve and Seymour from doing publicity. The film quickly closed, although Jean-Pierre Dorléac was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 1980. The film, commercially unsuccessful, was Reeve's first public disappointment.
In 1982 Reeve stretched his acting range further and played a devious novice playwright with questionable motives regarding his lover and mentor Michael Caine, in Sidney Lumet's suspenseful dark comedy film Deathtrap, based on the play by Ira Levin. The film was well received. The same year, Reeve portrayed partially corrupt Catholic priest John Flaherty making challenging decisions during World War II in Monsignor. Reeve felt this gave him the opportunity to play "a morally ambiguous character who was neither clearly good nor clearly bad, someone to whom life is much more complex than the characters I've played previously". Reeve blamed the failure of the film on poor editing. He said "the movie is sort of a series of outrageous incidents that you find hard to believe. Since they don't have a focus, and since they aren't justified and explained, they become laughable".
Lester directed Superman III, released in 1983, solo. Reeve believed that producers Alexander Salkind, his son Ilya Salkind, and Pierre Spengler decreased the credibility of Superman III by turning it into a Richard Pryor comedy and hence making it a not very good film. He missed Richard Donner and believed that Superman III's only really good element was the automobile junkyard scene in which Evil Superman fights Good Clark Kent in an internal battle. Reeve's portrayal of the Evil Superman was highly praised, though the film was critically panned. Any negative review for Superman III, however, was nothing compared to the totally negative reception its successor would receive.
In 1984, Reeve appeared in The Aspern Papers with Vanessa Redgrave. He then played Tony in The Royal Family and the Count in a modern adaptation of the play The Marriage of Figaro.
In 1985, Reeve hosted the television documentary Dinosaur! Fascinated with dinosaurs since he was a child, as he says in the documentary, he flew himself to New York in his own plane to shoot on location at the American Museum of Natural History. Also, in 1985, DC Comics named Reeve as one of the honorees in the company's 50th-anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great for his work on the Superman film series.
Reeve began his involvement in horse riding in 1985 after learning to ride for the film Anna Karenina. He was initially allergic to horses, so he took antihistamines. He trained on Martha's Vineyard, and by 1989, he began eventing. His allergies soon disappeared. He had suffered leg injuries as a teen while skiing, and he later broke three ribs in a riding accident he described, along with the leg injuries, on The Tonight Show in March 1987.
Portraying Superman would be a stretch for the 24-year-old actor. He was 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) tall, but his physique was slim. Reeve went through an intense two-month training regimen that former British weightlifting champion David Prowse supervised. The training regimen consisted of running in the morning, followed by two hours of weightlifting and ninety minutes on the trampoline. He added thirty pounds (14 kg) of muscle to his "thin" 189-pound (86 kg) frame. He later made even higher gains for Superman III (1983), though for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), he decided it would be healthier to focus more on cardiovascular workouts. One of the reasons Reeve could not work out as much for Superman IV was an emergency appendectomy he had in June 1986.
In 1986, he was still struggling to find scripts that he liked. A script named Street Smart had been lying in his house for years, and after re-reading it, he had Cannon Films green-light it. He starred opposite Morgan Freeman, who was nominated for his first Academy Award for the film. The film received excellent reviews but performed poorly at the box office, possibly because Cannon Films had failed to properly advertise it.
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was released in 1987. After Superman III, Reeve vowed that he was done with Superman. However, he agreed to continue the role in a fourth film on the condition that he would have partial creative control over the script. The nuclear disarmament plot was his idea. Cannon Films purchased the production rights to the character of Superman from Alexander Salkind and his son Ilya Salkind, the original producers of the film series, in the mid-1980s. Cannon Films were known for low-budget, poorly-acted, poorly-scripted action films. They cut the budget of Superman IV in half to $17 million. The film was both a critical failure and a box-office disappointment, becoming the lowest-grossing Superman film to date. Reeve later said, "the less said about Superman IV the better." Both of Reeve's children from his relationship with Gae Exton had uncredited appearances in a deleted scene in which Superman rescues a girl, played by his daughter Alexandra, and reunites her with her brother, played by his son Matthew, after Nuclear Man creates a tornado in Smallville.
After the filming of Superman IV in February 1987, Reeve and Exton separated and Reeve returned to New York. In a depression without his children, aged seven and three, he decided that doing a comedy might be good for him. He was given a lead in Switching Channels. Burt Reynolds and Kathleen Turner had a feud during filming, which made the time even more unbearable for Reeve. Reeve later stated that he made a fool of himself in the film and that most of his time was spent refereeing between Reynolds and Turner. The film did poorly, and Reeve believed that it marked the end of his movie star career. He spent the next years mostly doing plays. He auditioned for the Richard Gere role in Pretty Woman but walked out on the audition because they had a half-hearted casting director fill in for Julia Roberts.
In late 1987, in Santiago, Chile, the country's dictator, Augusto Pinochet, threatened to execute 77 actors. Ariel Dorfman asked Reeve to help save their lives. Reeve flew to Chile and helped lead a protest march. A cartoon then ran in a newspaper showing him carrying Pinochet by the collar with the caption, "Where will you take him, Superman?" For his heroics, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Bernardo O'Higgins Order, the highest Chilean distinction for foreigners. He also received an Obie Award and the Annual Walter Brielh Human Rights Foundation award.
In 1989, Reeve's friend Ron Silver started the Creative Coalition, a liberal organization aiming to teach celebrities how to speak knowledgeably about political issues. Reeve was an early member of the group, along with Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, and Blythe Danner. The groups initiatives included environmental issues and defending the National Endowment of the Arts, which was under attack from conservative Republicans who objected to taxpayer-funding of art that they considered offensive Reeve was elected as a co-president of the Creative Coalition in 1994. The organization's work was noticed nationwide, and the Democratic Party asked Reeve to run for the United States Congress. He replied, "Run for Congress? And lose my influence in Washington?"
In 1990, Reeve starred in the American Civil War film The Rose and the Jackal, in which he played Allan Pinkerton, the head of President Lincoln's new Secret Service. In October, Reeve was offered the part of Lewis in The Remains of the Day. The script was one of the best he had read, and he unhesitatingly took the part. The film was deemed an instant classic and was nominated for eight Academy Awards.
In June of 1987, Reeve met his future wife Dana Morosini, a singer and actress. By 1991 they were living together but Reeve, remembering his parents' painful divorce and other failed marriages in his family, could not bring himself to commit. After they almost broke up, Reeve began about a year of therapy, primarily to talk through his fears about marriage. Then one night during dinner, he "just put down my fork and asked her to marry me." They were married in April, 1992, and their son William was born on June 7 that year. The couple remained happily married until Reeve's death.
Reeve described his wedding in 1992 as his “first act of faith.” After his accident, many well-wishers suggested that prayer would make him feel better, but he did not find it helpful. “I wondered what was wrong with me,” he later wrote. “I had broken my neck and become paralyzed, possibly forever, but still hadn’t found God.”
In 1993, two years before Reeve's accident, the Salkinds sold the rights to the character of Superman again, this time to Warner Bros. at large. "There was supposed to be a fifth Superman movie titled Superman Reborn, but because of studio shifts, the terrible box office [Superman IV] got, and...Reeves's [sic] accident, it never saw the light of day."
Reeve purchased a 12-year-old American thoroughbred horse named Eastern Express, nicknamed "Buck" while filming Village of the Damned. He trained with Buck in 1994 and planned to do Training Level events in 1995 and move up to Preliminary in 1996. Though Reeve had originally signed up to compete at an event in Vermont, his coach invited him to go to the Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association finals at the Commonwealth Park equestrian center in Culpeper, Virginia. Reeve finished in fourth place out of 27 in the dressage, before walking his cross-country course. He was concerned about jumps 16 and 17 but paid little attention to the third jump, which was a routine three-foot-three fence shaped like the letter 'W'.
In 1995, Reeve was offered the lead in Kidnapped. He also planned to direct his first big screen film, a romantic comedy entitled Tell Me True. Both plans were cancelled as a result of the horseback riding accident in 1995 that left him paralyzed.
On May 27, 1995, Reeve's horse made a refusal. Witnesses said that the horse began the third fence jump and suddenly stopped. Reeve fell forward off the horse, holding on to the reins. His hands became tangled in the reins, and the bridle and bit were pulled off the horse. He landed head first on the far side of the fence, shattering his first and second vertebrae. This cervical spinal injury, which paralyzed him from the neck down, also halted his breathing. Paramedics arrived three minutes later and immediately took measures to get air into his lungs. He was taken first to the local hospital, before being flown by helicopter to the University of Virginia Medical Center. Afterwards, he had no recollection of the accident.
Reeve went through inner anguish in the ICU, particularly when he was alone during the night. His approaching operation to reattach his skull to his spine in June 1995 "was frightening to contemplate. ... I already knew that I had only a fifty-fifty chance of surviving the surgery. ... Then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent." The man announced that he was a proctologist and was going to perform a rectal exam on Reeve. It was Robin Williams, reprising his character from the film Nine Months. Reeve wrote: "For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay." In addition to visits from friends and family, Reeve received over 400,000 letters from all of the world, which gave him great comfort during his recovery.
In 1996, Reeve narrated the HBO film Without Pity: A Film About Abilities. The film won the Emmy Award for "Outstanding Informational Special". He then acted in a small role in the film A Step Towards Tomorrow.
In 1996, ten months after the injury that paralyzed him, Reeve appeared at the 68th Academy Awards to a long standing ovation. He used the occasion to encourage Hollywood to make more films on social issues, saying, "Let’s continue to take risks. Let’s tackle the issues. In many ways our film community can do it better than anyone else."
Reeve left the Kessler Rehabilitation Center feeling inspiration from the other patients he had met. Because the media was constantly covering him, he decided to use his name to put focus on spinal cord injuries. In 1996, he also hosted the Paralympics in Atlanta and spoke at the Democratic National Convention. He traveled across the country to make speeches. For these efforts, he was placed on the cover of TIME on August 26, 1996.
However, almost 10 years after Somewhere in Time was released, at a time when other period films were beginning to be made, it became a cult film favorite, thanks to screenings on cable networks and video rentals; its popularity began to grow, vindicating the belief of the creative team. INSITE, the International Network of Somewhere in Time Enthusiasts, did fundraising to sponsor a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997 for Reeve. Jane Seymour became a personal friend of Reeve and in 1996 named one of her twin sons Kristopher in his honor. The Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island has become a popular tourist site for film fans.
In 1997, Reeve made his directorial debut with the HBO film In the Gloaming with Robert Sean Leonard, Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Bridget Fonda, and David Strathairn. The film won four Cable Ace Awards and was nominated for five Emmy Awards including "Outstanding Director for a Miniseries or Special". Dana Reeve said, "There's such a difference in his outlook, his health, his overall sense of well-being when he's working at what he loves, which is creative work." In 1998, Reeve produced and starred in Rear Window, a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance.
Reeve had a difficult relationship with his father, Franklin. He wrote in 1998 that his father's "love for his children always seemed tied to performance" and that he put pressure on himself to act older than he actually was in order to gain his father's approval. Between 1988 and 1995 the two barely spoke to each other, but they reconciled after Reeve's paralyzing accident.
On April 25, 1998, Random House published Reeve's autobiography, Still Me. The book spent eleven weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list and Reeve won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. In 2000, he made guest appearances on the long-running PBS series Sesame Street.
In the aftermath of the accident, Reeve went through intense grief. He gradually resolved to make the best of his new life, with a busy schedule of activism, film work, writing and promoting his books, public speaking, and parenting. In 1998, he said in an interview:
Reeve's first effort to change disability legislation was in supporting a 1997 bill that would raise the lifetime "cap" on insurance payments from the standard $1 million to $10 million per person. For catastrophically injured people with one insurance policy, the $1 million limit often lasts just a few years. The bill was narrowly defeated. In 1999, he supported the Work Incentives Improvement Act, which allows people to continue to receive disability benefits after they return to work. This bill passed.
Reeve was elected Chairman of the American Paralysis Association and Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability. He co-founded the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, which is now one of the leading spinal cord research centers in the world. In 1999, the American Paralysis Association and another foundation that Reeve had founded were merged into the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which aims to speed up research through funding and to use grants to improve the quality of the lives of people with disabilities. The Foundation to date has given more than $65 million to research and more than $8.5 million in quality-of-life grants. The Foundation has funded a new technology called "Locomotor Training" that uses a treadmill to mimic the movements of walking to help develop neural connections, in effect re-teaching the spinal cord how to send signals to the legs to walk. This technology has helped several paralyzed patients walk again. Of Christopher Reeve, UC Irvine said, "in the years following his injury, Christopher did more to promote research on spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders than any other person before or since".
Reeve exercised for up to four or five hours a day, using specialized exercise machines to stimulate his muscles and prevent muscle atrophy and osteoporosis. He believed that intense physical therapy could regenerate the nervous system, and also wanted his body to be strong enough to support itself if a cure for paralysis was found. Starting in 2000, he started to regain the ability to make small movements in his fingers and other parts of his body, and by 2002 reported that he could sense hot and cold temperatures on 65% of his body. Reeve's doctors were shocked by his improvements, which they attributed to his intensive exercise regimen.
In 2002, Reeve lobbied for the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001, which would allow somatic cell nuclear transfer research, but would ban reproductive cloning. He argued that stem cell implantation is unsafe unless the stem cells contain the patient's own DNA and that because somatic cell nuclear transfer is done without fertilizing an egg, it can be fully regulated. In June 2004, Reeve provided a videotaped message on behalf of the Genetics Policy Institute to the delegates of the United Nations in defense of somatic cell nuclear transfer, which a world treaty was considering banning. In the final days of his life, Reeve urged California voters to vote yes on Proposition 71, which would establish the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and would allot $3 billion of state funds to stem cell research. Proposition 71 was approved less than one month after Reeve's death.
In 2002 and 2004, Reeve survived several serious infections believed to have originated from his bone marrow. He recovered from three that could have been fatal.
On February 25, 2003, Reeve appeared in the television series Smallville as Dr. Virgil Swann in the episode "Rosetta". In that episode, Dr. Swann brings to Clark Kent (Tom Welling) information about where he comes from and how to use his powers for the good of mankind. The scenes of Reeve and Welling feature music cues from 1978's Superman: The Movie, composed by John Williams and arranged by Mark Snow. At the end of this episode, Reeve and Welling appeared in a short spot inviting people to support the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. "Rosetta" set ratings history for The WB network. The fan community met the episode with rave reviews and praised it as being among the series' best to this day. Reeve also appeared in the Smallville episode "Legacy", in which he met again with fellow stage actor John Glover, who played Lionel Luthor in the show.
In July 2003, Christopher Reeve's continuing frustration with the pace of stem cell research in the U.S. led him to Israel, a country that was then, according to him, at the center of research in spinal cord injury. Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited him to seek out the best treatment for his condition. During his visit, Reeve called the experience "a privilege" and said, "Israel has very proactive rehab facilities, excellent medical schools and teaching hospitals, and an absolutely first-rate research infrastructure." Israelis were very receptive to Reeve's visit, calling him an inspiration to all and urging him never to give up hope.
In April 2004, Random House published Reeve's second book, Nothing Is Impossible. This book is shorter than Still Me and focuses on Reeve's world views and the life experiences that helped him shape them. Also, in 2004, Reeve directed the A&E film The Brooke Ellison Story. The film is based on the true story of Brooke Ellison, the first quadriplegic to graduate from Harvard University. Reeve during this time was directing the animated film Everyone's Hero. It was one of his dream projects and he died during the middle of production for the film. His wife Dana helped out, and his son Will was a cast member in the film. Dana and Will also had small roles in The Brooke Ellison Story.
In his 2004 book Nothing is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life, Reeve said that he and his wife had been regularly attended Unitarian services, starting in his late forties. In the years that followed the accident, he had gradually come to believe that:
In early October 2004, he was being treated for an infected pressure ulcer that was causing sepsis, a complication he had experienced many times before. On October 4, 2004, he spoke at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago on behalf of the Institute's work; it was his last reported public appearance. On October 9, 2004, Reeve attended his son Will's hockey game. That night, he went into cardiac arrest after receiving an antibiotic for the infection. He fell into a coma and was taken to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York. Eighteen hours later, on October 10, 2004, Reeve died at the age of 52. No official autopsy was performed on the actor. However, both Reeve's wife Dana and his doctor John McDonald believed that an adverse reaction to a drug caused Reeve's death.
Reeve's widow, Dana Reeve, headed the Christopher Reeve Foundation after his death. Although a non-smoker, she was diagnosed with lung cancer on August 9, 2005. She died at age 44 on March 6, 2006, and the foundation was subsequently renamed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
Much of Superman II was filmed at the same time as the first film. In fact, the original plan had been for the film to be a single three-hour epic comprising both parts. After most of the footage had been shot, the producers had a disagreement with director Richard Donner over various matters, including money and special effects, and they mutually agreed to part ways. Film director Richard Lester, who had worked with the producers previously on the two-parter The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974), replaced Donner. Lester had the script changed and re-shot some footage. The cast was unhappy, but Reeve later said that he liked Lester and considered Superman II to be his favorite of the series. Richard Donner's version of Superman II, titled Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, was released on DVD in November 2006 and was dedicated in memory of Reeve.
Reeve's children Matthew, Alexandra, and William all serve on the board of directors for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, while Will is also a reporter for ABC News. In 2015, Alexandra and her husband welcomed a son, Christopher Russel Reeve Givens.
Currently, Christopher Reeve is 70 years, 4 months and 8 days old. Christopher Reeve will celebrate 71st birthday on a Monday 25th of September 2023.
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